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Faculty members at the University of Georgia are once again requesting that university leaders extend benefits, such as health insurance, to domestic partners. The University Council’s Human Resources Committee recently voted unanimously in favor of the request. The same council passed resolutions calling for the Board of Regents to approve benefits in 2002, 2005 and 2007. But the Regents so far have ignored repeated calls from faculty at UGA and other University System of Georgia colleges and universities.
UGA is in a small minority of major colleges that have not extended health and other benefits to unmarried partners, according to the committee’s research. Most of the “aspirational” universities UGA would like to be more like offer the same benefits to domestic partners as available to spouses, including state flagship universities in Michigan, Wisconsin Texas .
Most of UGA’s “comparator peer institutions” — including the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky — also have extended health insurance and other benefits beyond spouses to domestic partners.
The committee says that UGA administrators could set up a system using non-state funds even if the regents won’t approve spending the additional money. Previous studies have shown that costs involved with domestic partner coverage typically increase 1 percent to 2 percent when a company or university adopts such a system.
An executive committee is expected to approve the proposal Thursday. The proposal would then go to the full University Council for a vote. The council’s first meeting of the academic year is set for Sept. 27.